Was thinking about how composers are presented and sold and remembered this from many years ago. There was once a charming woman with a charming flower stand at Universal City Walk that caught my attention.
In an attempt to charm her, I claimed I could sell two dozen of her long-stem roses in under an hour. And before she could fully react, I gathered up 24 of her flowers and headed into the crowd.
KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS
I spent the first few minutes approaching everyone as market research. I quickly decided who were my most likely candidates… couples who were strolling holding hands or with arms around each other.
A bit of a no brained: Start with romantic people.
FIND AN APPROACH
I fumbled my first few attempts by being too aggressive and, incorrectly, launching my approach by looking at the woman. I modified this by always looking first at the guy then shifting focus to his date then looking back at the guy with a look of “wow, you are one lucky fellow” then glancing down at my flowers and then looking back at him with a silent sense of amazement and discovery that would hopefully register as … “Hey, I just had a brilliant idea … why don’t you give your beautiful date a rose.”
I did all of this pantomime with a soft, subservient persona like I was only there to be the guy’s supportive wing-man for romance.
TIMING AND SHOWING THE GOODS
At the precise moment when the girl looked at the flowers and then over to her date, I would try to close the deal by presumptuously lifting one rose from the bunch and moving it towards them (it is harder to stop someone once they are already in motion). Only after this eye dance and flower lift preamble would I sweetly and humbly ask, “A flower of the lady?”
REJECTION: THE POWER OF NUMBERS
Almost everyone said no. But that was okay because there was always a fresh batch of potential customers strolling by behind them. They key was letting go, moving on, and not getting caught up in any emotions other than, “This is fun!”
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
My hour click was ticking. At the half hour mark I had probably approached 100 couples and sold eight flowers. This was fine since I was really spending that initial time researching, testing, and perfecting my pitch. Armed with that data I started increasing my success rate.
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
I had sold most of those flowers, but with only minutes to spare I still had a few roses left to unload, and I wasn’t going to fail. I quickly spotted a few parents with their young kids and hurriedly gifted them free flowers. Racing back to the cart, I reached into my wallet added the missing funds to the bounty.
Right before the time expired I presented the cash and the empty flower basket back to the charming owner of the stand. “How did you do that?,” she asked with a sense of amazement.